Benefits of Spinach for Health, Can Reduce the Risk of Cancer and Manage Diabetes

Spinach is one of the vegetables that we often serve at home. Apart from being easy to obtain and cook, spinach does offer a fresh taste for consumption. The benefits of spinach as a source of nutrition for you and your family cannot be overlooked.

Apart from being delicious and refreshing, spinach is also very rich in various vitamins and other nutrients. Get to know the benefits of spinach and its refreshing nutrients.

Not only delicious to eat, spinach also has many health benefits. These commonly found everyday vegetables have various nutritional content, are low in calories, and are rich in fiber.

What are the Nutrients in Spinach, so That it is so Beneficial?

This Asian vegetable has many nutrients including vitamins and minerals that are good for the body. Vitamins that are widely found in spinach are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin K, and vitamin E. While the main minerals that spinach has are magnesium, iron, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and sodium. Spinach also contains lots of fiber and antioxidants. In addition, this green vegetable contains very few calories and fat.

Spinach has a variety of nutrients, including micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and other molecules that are good for health.

1. Nutrients in spinach

About 100 grams (or roughly the equivalent of half a glass of star fruit) spinach contains the micronutrients below.

  • 23 calories
  • 91% water
  • 2.9 grams of protein
  • 3.6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.2 grams of fiber
  • 0.4 grams of sugar
  • 0.4 grams of fat

2. The content of vitamins and minerals in spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins and various minerals. Some of them, namely:

  • Vitamin A. The content of this vitamin certainly provides a number of benefits. For example, for healthy eyesight, reproduction, immune system, and cell growth.
  • Vitamin C. One of the molecules in spinach has benefits as an antioxidant. Vitamin C helps maintain healthy skin and maintains immune function.
  • Vitamin K1. This vitamin is useful for blood clotting.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate). Folate is a B vitamin that is needed by pregnant women. This vitamin is also essential for the growth of cells and body tissues
  • Iron. The iron content in spinach is very high. Iron helps form hemoglobin, which plays a role in carrying oxygen throughout the body.
  • Calcium. Apart from being beneficial for bone health, calcium is also important for helping the nervous system, heart and muscles.

3. Compounds that exist only in plants

Apart from the main nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, spinach contains other plant compounds, which are good for the body. Here are plant compounds in spinach, which are useful for health.

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide spinach benefits for maintaining eye health
  • Kaempferol, as an antioxidant molecule that reduces the risk of cancer and chronic disease
  • Nitrates, to maintain heart health
  • Quercetin, another antioxidant molecule in spinach. This molecule is useful for warding off inflammation and infection.


Benefits of Spinach for Health

Spinach is a vegetable that contains quite a complete range of vitamins and minerals. As for the vitamin content that spinach has, ranging from vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin K. In addition, the main minerals that spinach has are magnesium, iron, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and sodium. Knowing the many nutritional content in it, what are the benefits of spinach that can be obtained by the body?

1. Maintain eye health

No doubt, spinach is known for its health benefits. This green vegetable contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which can protect the eyes from sun damage.

In addition, these two substances are also able to prevent other eye disorders, such as cataracts and macular degeneration (vision problems due to age).

2. Reducing the risk of getting cancer

Another benefit of spinach is that it can reduce the risk of developing cancer. Spinach contains substances called sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG) and monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MGDG). Both of these substances can prevent the growth of cancer cells.

Several studies have shown that eating spinach can inhibit the onset of prostate cancer, breast cancer and cervical tumors. The antioxidant content in these vegetables also plays a role in fighting cancer, which arises from oxidative stress.

3. Controlling blood pressure

Spinach is also rich in nitrates which have benefits for controlling blood pressure. By controlling blood pressure, eating spinach can also reduce your risk of heart disease.

This research is presented through a research report published in Nutrition Clinical Research. In this study, 27 people consumed spinach for 7 days. As a result, it was found that spinach was effective for lowering blood pressure.

4. Controlling diabetes

Another amazing benefit of spinach is that it can control diabetes. Spinach contains an antioxidant molecule called alpha-lipoic acid which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce the impact of oxidative stress in diabetic patients.

5. Prevent asthma

Afraid of the risk of asthma due to air pollution? Eat spinach. Because, spinach also has potential benefits to prevent asthma.

The nutrient that plays a role in preventing asthma is beta-carotene. You can get a lot of these nutrients in spinach. These findings are based on a study involving 433 children as respondents which showed that the risk of developing asthma was lower.

6. Prevent anemia

Spinach is a good source of iron intake. However, spinach also contains oxalates which can inhibit iron absorption when consumed. To work around this, you can take vitamin C which can help iron absorption.

7. Good for pregnant women

The benefits of green spinach for pregnant women have a very big effect on the fetus. Folate in green vegetables is needed by the prospective baby. This is because they can develop their nervous system, so that defects in the mouth, such as clefts, can be avoided.

Therefore, green spinach is very beneficial for pregnant and lactating mothers because it has a good impact on your child.

8. Healthy bones

Low intake of vitamin K can result in a higher risk of fractures. Spinach also contains vitamin K which helps absorb calcium by the bones so that the bones become strong.

Therefore, consumption of spinach is quite important because it functions as a bone matrix protein modifier, increases calcium absorption, and can reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body through urine.

The benefits of spinach for bones are also able to prevent osteoporosis, especially for those who are elderly.

9. Maintain healthy skin

The benefits of spinach on this one are definitely liked by women because eating spinach can help maintain healthy skin. This is because the high antioxidant content in spinach is able to provide protection for the skin from a number of free radicals in the environment.

Those are some of the benefits of spinach that you can get. Although it is useful, for those of you who are taking blood thinning drugs such as warfarin, it looks like you should consult your doctor before consuming spinach, because foods that contain vitamin K play a big role in blood clotting.

But keep in mind, that eating spinach alone cannot ward off all of the above diseases. Maintaining a healthy body is not only by paying attention to diet or eating one type of food, but also by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress.

Tips for Washing and Processing Spinach

In order to get the maximum benefits of spinach, make sure you process these vegetables properly. Here are the tips:

  • Buy fresh spinach for optimal vitamins and nutrients.
  • Before cooking, wash the spinach thoroughly. This washing can remove dirt and germs that stick to the leaves and stems. The correct way to wash spinach is to soak it in a container filled with water, then wipe the entire surface. Afterward, dry with a clean towel or tissue. The spinach is ready to be processed.
  • If you don't want to process it right away, you can store the spinach in a clean, airtight container and let it cool in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
  • Spinach that has not been washed can last up to four days, if it is put into plastic and then stored in the refrigerator.

Apart from paying attention to how to wash and store spinach, also make sure your kitchen utensils are free from germs and bacteria. Don't forget to always wash kitchen utensils and dishwashing sponges with soap and water, so they are not contaminated by bacteria and germs.

Spinach can be processed into a variety of easy-to-make dishes, such as clear vegetables, as well as stir fry.

Note for you, immediately finish the spinach that you make. Avoid reheating it, because this process can reduce the nutritional content of spinach.

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